Thomas E. Hassan joined SYA in June 2016 and brings more than 35 years of educational experience to his new role, including three years as an SYA board member. As the former Principal of Phillips Exeter Academy (NH), he served in many capacities during his 26-year tenure, including as math instructor, director of college counseling, director of admissions, assistant principal, acting principal and principal. Prior to Exeter, Hassan worked at Brown and Harvard Universities as well as the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Under Hassan's direction, Exeter became a leader in efforts to further global outreach programs for students and faculty. A graduate of Brown University (RI), Hassan earned his MA and Ed.D degrees at Harvard University (MA).
Eileen Kelly-Aguirre, Executive Director
Eileen Kelly-Aguirre joined SYA in August 2014 from The Gunnery (CT), where she was Associate Head for Strategic Partnerships and Global Programs. During her 22-year tenure, she served in many capacities including as a Spanish language and literature instructor, academic dean, director of curriculum, dean of faculty and assistant head of school. Key achievements include introducing Mandarin to the curriculum, acting as a lead contributor to the development of a co-curricular strand on ethical engagement and citizenship, chairing the NEASC re-accreditation committee and securing the first round of International Baccalaureate (IB) candidate school status. A graduate of Wesleyan University, Kelly-Aguirre earned her MA from Middlebury College (VT) and completed coursework for a PhD in Education Leadership at Central Connecticut State University.
Hilde Becker, Resident Director, SYA China
Hilde Becker joined SYA China in 2002 serving as the history teacher for 10 years. For the 2011-2012 academic year, she acted as Interim Resident Director and has been the Resident Director since 2012. She also served as the Program Director of the 2011 SYA China Summer program. Becker earned her MA at Trier University, Germany and received extensive Chinese linguistic training at Lanzhou University, China. She earned another MA and completed coursework for a PhD in Chinese History at the University of California where she also served as an instructor in the history department.
Denis Brochu, Resident Director, SYA France
Denis Brochu joined SYA France in 2007 after 24 years at Phillips Exeter Academy (NH). Brochu has been an award-winning French teacher at all levels, a beloved dorm head and a respected administrator. During his time at Exeter he served in many capacities including as French language instructor, dean for academic affairs and as the SYA coordinator from 1990 and having chaired the evaluation team that observed the Rennes campus in March 2005. A native of Quebec, Brochu grew up speaking French as a first language and spent the first years of his life on the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of St. Laurence. After college in New Hampshire, he taught, held administrative posts, and contributed actively to professional associations in the Franklin, New Hampshire public school district before moving to Exeter in 1983. Brochu earned his BA and MA degrees at Plymouth State College and Rivier College, respectively.
Virginia Invernizzi, Resident Director, SYA Spain
Virginia Invernizzi joined SYA in 2014 from Deerfield Academy (MA) where she was a teacher of Spanish language and literature, and former department chair. Born and raised in both Uruguay and the U.S. Invernizzi has deep-rooted bi-cultural ties to both countries. During her 20-year tenure, she established, led and planned the curriculum for the biannual Deerfield in Uruguay and Spain summer programs where students spend a month in Montevideo or Madrid. Additionally, in partnership with a student, she created internships with the Embassy of Uruguay in Washington DC as post-trip experiential learning, and introduced an exchange program for Uruguayan students to visit Deerfield. Invernizzi earned her BA, MA and PhD from the University of Virginia.
Patrick Scanlon, Resident Director, SYA Italy
Patrick Scanlon joined SYA Italy in 2002 serving as the English teacher and college counselor for two years. In 2005 he became the Resident Director, a post he held until 2015 before taking a sabbatical year. He has recently returned for the 2016-2017 academic year. After college, he spent three years teaching English and perfecting his Italian-language skills in Milan, Florence and Crans su Sierre, Switzerland. Following this, he taught chemistry, general science and English at Albuquerque Academy for 16 years prior to joining SYA Italy. Scanlon earned his BA and MA degrees at the University of New Mexico and St. John's College (NM), respectively.